Firestone Race Notes: 103RD Running™ of the Indianapolis 500®

Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, Ind.



Firestone is supplying approximately 6,000 race tires for on-track activities related to this year’s 103rd Running™ of the Indianapolis 500®, which includes testing, practice, qualifying, and the race. Each entry receives 36 sets for practice, qualifying and the race*

*Does not include open test, ROP, refresher or Last row/Fast 9 qualifying

“The 2019 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires feature a new left-side compound and new right-side construction and compound. With the new aero kit last season, trailing vehicles in traffic at IMS exhibited ‘aero wash,’ or a reduction on aero load on the right front tire due to the disturbance of the leading cars. Firestone worked with INDYCAR to improve this by developing right side constructions with modified footprints (the shape of the contact patch where the rubber meets the road), which successfully changed the side grip load dependency. This reduction in sensitivity allows for a more consistent level of grip as the tire is unloaded in traffic.”

- Cara Adams, Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports


The Firestone Race Tire Engineering team won the 53rd annual Louis Schwitzer Award for Engineering Excellence for its work on the 2019 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. It’s the second time that Firestone has won the prestigious honor, which recognizes innovation that improves the competitive potential of the Indy 500. The new right-side construction improves the footprint of the tire to make lateral grip less dependent on aerodynamic downforce, while new compounds on both the left and right side tires help improve mechanical grip.

As the only part of a vehicle that touches the road, tires are an important safety feature for INDYCAR drivers and everyday drivers alike. This week (May 20-27) is National Tire Safety Week, an annual tire industry initiative that promotes the importance of tire maintenance and tires themselves as safety features on a vehicle. Just as teams prepare their tires for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing®,” drivers at home should keep their tires road ready. Visit for quick, easy tips to help ensure your tires are ready for the summer driving season.

Contact: Rachel Potee

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